COUNTY PRESS RELEASE- Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announce the opening of the first Baby Café in Rockland and the Hudson Valley region.
In January, Rockland County was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the New York State Department of Health to encourage women to breastfeed. The County Executive made the announcement at a WIC center in Spring Valley, which is the site of the region’s first Baby Café.
The grand opening events will be on Tuesday, August 15th at the Baby Café located at the WIC office in Spring Valley, at 14 South Main Street:
- 9 – 10:30 a.m.: Opening Ceremony and Refreshments
- 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Baby Café support and counseling for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and their families
Baby Café USA is a non-profit organization that helps coordinate free walk-in sites, called Baby Cafés, where pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and their families can get free one-on-one support from trained lactation (breastfeeding) specialists. Café visitors also have a chance to share their experiences with others in a group setting. The Baby Café at the Spring Valley WIC office will be opened every Tuesday, from 10:30 am -12:30 pm.
Through a five-year grant received from the New York State Department of Health, the Health Department is working together with many agencies, partners, and community members to advance broad-based policy, system, and environmental changes within community settings and businesses, and with child care and health care providers to ensure that all women and families receive ongoing high-quality breastfeeding education and support. Part of this funding allows the Health Department to work together with the Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network (LHVPN) to establish three Baby Cafés to reduce disparities in high-need areas in the Towns of Ramapo and Clarkstown.
“Breastfeeding has proven health benefits for both the mother and the baby. This funding will enable us to continue and expand upon the wonderful, important work the Health Department has accomplished over the past nine years to promote breastfeeding and support in our community,” said Dr. Ruppert.
“This Baby Café is the first here in Rockland and the first in the New York City and Hudson Valley regions. It shows that we are ahead of the curve when it comes to providing services to women and children,” said County Executive Day.
“The timing of the first Baby Café is perfect, as it comes during National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. It will help us reduce barriers that breastfeeding mothers face, and create a culture in the community where women feel comfortable and supported in breastfeeding their babies,” said Laurie Messinger, IBCLC, Rockland County Department of Health Lactation Consultant.
For more information about Baby Café USA visit www.babycafeusa.org/ or call the LHVPN at 914-406-6412. For more information about the Health Department’s Breastfeeding Support and Promotion Program and the grant visit http://bit.ly/1iMYXRT or call the Health Department at 845-364-3786.